Church of England’s “Dwindling Congregation”

The Not-the-Church-of-England version

People are booking it out of the Church of England–but not to worry, the Church has got a plan! Simply bring in “gender-neutral” terms for God, and they’ll come pouring back in (https://nypost.com/2023/02/08/church-of-england-might-give-god-gender-neutral-pronouns/). ‘Cause obviously they’re leaving because of all that “Our Father” stuff.

Do I hear Simon and Garfunkel singing The Dwindling Congregation?

“It’s an empty, hollow building, not a celebrant in sight,

And the cobwebs on the windows block out a lot of light.

And there’s no one at the service,

There’s nobody in the pews,

And the preacher stands there, lonely,

He has heard distressing news.

And the dwindling congregation, you can’t hear them say “Amen,”

And they won’t come back again…

 

Antidote: Psalm 11

If The Foundations Be Destroyed, What Can The Righteous Do? – Psalm11:3 |  Paul E Chapman

Speaking for myself, I need this Psalm today. Let me share it with you.

In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men.

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence, His soul hateth.

Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; His countenance doth behold the upright.

***

The evil men and women of this age will die and be judged; and their works will perish, too. There are foundations that they have no power to destroy. When Christ reigns, we will not be able to find these wicked people.

 

Too Much Despair Out There!

65 Throw In The Towel Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Are the big guys bailing out on us?

Yesterday I encountered several opinion pieces whose message was “We give up, the bad guys win! Goodbye, America!” And then I read Victor Davis Hanson’s recent essay, “Anarchy, American Style” (https://amgreatness.com/2023/01/29/anarchy-american-style/).

Holy cow. Over the years I’ve respected Hanson as a commentator–but this is something else. Maybe he ought to be put on a suicide watch.

According to Hanson (and he’s not the only one who says so), Far Left Crazy now controls virtually everything… and has become The Establishment. Any meaningful opposition simply does not exist. (Ron DeSantis apparently doesn’t know this.)

Victor, Victor! Live up to your name! Is God not on His throne? Will He not judge our time? Is truth no longer truth? And do the odds really matter? Because the enemy is big and strong and wealthy, does that mean we do well to surrender? I should send you one of my T-shirts that reads, “If they have to kill us, they’ve lost.”

I am a nobody. Not too small to step on and crush, but still pretty much a nobody. Does this woeful era of history discourage me? You bet it does. Does it give me a license to give up?

No. Never.

My wife asked me, “So what’s his solution? What does he say we should do?”

“He has nothing to say by way of a solution. Not even a ‘Stay tuned for Part II, “What to Do About it.”‘

We belong to a God who uses the weak to overthrow the mighty, foolish things to confound the wise, and things that are despised to cast down things that are esteemed [See 1 Corinthians Chapter 1]. As bad as things are, we His people have faced worse. Much worse. Two world wars kind of spring to mind.

If our leaders are going to lose heart and give up–well, ask God to give us new ones. He can raise them up at will.

 

Rushdoony: ‘The War Against the Family’

R.J. Rushdoony (2 of 2) Christ's Victory Over Satan - YouTube

R.J. Rushdoony wrote this in 1996. Now, 27 years later, I’m old enough to see how right he was.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/the-war-against-the-family

Have you ever seen this sticker on a car? “We are spending our children’s inheritance!” All too often, that is literally true. There are all sorts of “elder care plans” that suck up every dollar of what parents might otherwise leave to their children. There are more of them now than there were in 1996.

And we’ve all seen this: parents retire, move hundreds or even thousands of miles away from their surviving family members, eventually their health begins to fail… and then they pine away for visitors, forgetting how difficult they’ve made it to visit them.

And offspring who move away from their parents. Again, hundreds of miles. Patty and I knew a sweet and benign woman whose adult children harshly rejected her and moved from New Jersey to California… with the grandchildren. “Y’know, Mom,” said the daughter, “there comes a time when the old coyote crawls off to die.” Comforting, isn’t it?

“Social decay begins with the family,” said Rushdoony.

Right on target.

We really do have to do better by our families. And there are many villains out there working against us, who’d like nothing better than to see the family broken up.

Pope Benedict’s Book Rips ‘Progressive’ Church Policies

Photos: Pope Benedict XVI | CNN

Pope Benedict XVI: “He being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4)

Pope Benedict XVI, who died last month, left a book to be published after his death. It’s not a book that takes a rosy view of the state of the Church today (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/01/23/gay-clubs-run-seminaries-says-pope-benedict-posthumous-attack/).

In What Christianity Is, the late Pope charges that “gay clubs” are allowed to operate in Catholic seminaries–some training for the priesthood, eh? “An American bishop,” says Benedict, allows his priesthood trainees to watch pornography.

Benedict retired as Pope in 2013.

Well, hell, we’re talking about a Church establishment that allowed an Amazonian idol to be set up in the Vatican, and doesn’t mind when self-proclaimed “Catholic” politicians champion anti-Catholic causes like abortion, transgender, and “gay” pseudomarriage. Benedict could probably have cranked out half a dozen volumes, had his health been up to it.

‘Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory’

We usually call this hymn “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” but its reach is longer than that. Here’s a mass choir (250 voices) in India singing it as Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory. 

Our Christian family is growing.

Diocese of Des Moines Pushes Back on ‘Woke’

Bishop: A Reflection on the Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Bishop William Joenson–thank you for your leadership!

The Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa–in charge of 80 churches, 17 Catholic schools, and four hospitals–has banned “preferred pronouns,” “transgender” bathrooms and locker rooms, and “gender blocker” drugs (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11642739/Activists-erupt-Diocese-Des-Moines-enacts-anti-woke-rules-churches-schools.html). The bans go into effect… now! Bishop William Joenson announced the new policies yesterday.

So it’s no more Woke nonsense at Des Moines Catholic schools and churches, and Far Left Crazy is wailing, rending its garments, and gnashing its teeth. Democrats (of course) went so far as to say the diocese is “un-Christian,” Jesus would never! condone pushing back against transgender madness. (“Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” does not occur to them.)

What are they going to do to try to force the diocese back onto the bandwagon? At this point, they don’t know. What can they do? Government in America has no authority to tell the Church they’ve gotta be woke or they’ll be broke.

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve had a feeling that the whole woke enterprise could come crashing down in pieces sooner than we think. Very few people actually want the garbage that Woke is selling. “Let us use your children as guinea pigs in our insane sociological experiments” is not a persuasive pitch.

 

Who Were the Colossians?

Colosse - New Testament Churches

The New Testament includes St. Paul’s epistle to the church at Colosse (Colossians). How many of us know anything about this place, besides that?

Colosse’s church is not mentioned in Revelation; but its next door neighbor’s, Laodicea’s, is. Laodicea is warned that spiritual indifference leads to death.

In Paul’s time, Colosse was pretty much a backwater, a city that had seen much better days. He took the time to write to them and minister to their church, although we don’t know that he ever came there in person. Anyhow, the town’s glory days were some 500 years before that.

Whatever you do, Paul exhorted the Colossians, do it in the name of the Lord, do it as if you were doing it for the Lord. Had nearby Laodicea already earned a reputation for being lukewarm?

Another reason Paul might have written to the church at Colosse would be to encourage Christians to keep themselves distant from their city’s notorious habit of syncretism–mixing together several religions and winding up with false religion. Colosse was also known for being home to an “angel cult.” Evidently they’d mixed Greek and other pagan gods with the angels they’d heard about from Christian missionaries.

Colosse was destroyed in a civil war in 1192 A.D. and never rebuilt. It has yet to be systematically studied by archaeologists. It seems to be a backwater for archaeologists, too.

But for Paul the Apostle there were no backwaters.

By Request, ‘Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Jesus’

Requested by Phoebe, Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Jesus, sung by Perfect Praise.

Sometimes I’m so focused on asking God for blessings that I forget to thank and praise Him–“Thou shalt love the LORD thy God,” the Bible reminds us… any number of times.

With your mind stayed on Jesus is not a bad place for your mind to be.

Is There a ‘Quiet Right Counterculture’?

The Motive behind going Church » FLATIMES

Writing for the City Journal, Christopher Rufo wonders whether a “quiet right counterculture” of sane and normal people is growing up right before our eyes (https://freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/4120803/posts).

The hippies and commies who were the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s, and their offspring, are a counterculture no more: they are The Establishment. They are General Motors funding “transgender” commercials in the public elementary schools. They are Big Tech, they are censorship, they are “cancel everybody who isn’t us!”

But outside the doomed Blue cities, ordinary people are working to rebuild “families, schools, churches, neighborhoods… things that will last,” says Rufo. Homeschool families are leading the way, with more and more parents opting not to keep their kids in public schools for teachers’ union fanatics to groom and prey on.

Man, from your mouth to God’s ear!

Read the essay, it’s not long. What do you think? Has he got something there, or what?